Spartans defeat backyard-rival Elon in five-set thriller
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro battled its Southern Conference rival Elon, 3-2, in a back-and-forth affair on Wednesday evening in Fleming Gymnasium.
The Spartans improved to 10-9 on the year and 3-2 in SoCon play to move into second place in the North Division. Elon fell to 15-3 this season and 3-2 in league action.
"I was really proud of our team tonight," said head coach Patrick Nicholas. "We were a little out of rhythm throughout the match, but we kept at it and played as a team to come out with the victory. I was happy the way that Ali (Beaudway) was able to move from the inside to the outside when Billi went down. Catherine (Hanners) also provided us with a spark with her play from the outside hitter position."
Caley Redden led the Spartan offense with a career-high 18 kills and she also added 10 digs for her third-straight double-double and eighth of the season. Emily Lindborg tied her career-high set in 2007 with 17 kills and Catherine Hanners had a double-double with 13 kills and a match-high 29 digs. Ari Lysacek also set a career-high with 57 assists and had 12 digs as well.
Elon was led by Traci Stewart who had a team-high 12 kills and Sarah Schermerhon added 11. Carolina Lemke broke her previous career-high with nine blocks in the losing effort.
The Phoenix came out firing in the first set as they hit .303 for the set and took an early 4-1 lead. The Spartans kept on chipping away at Elon's lead before a kill by Billi Baker and a service ace by Redden tied the match at 15. The two squads found themselves tied at 16 before Elon rattled off nine of the final 12 points to take the set, 25-19.
The Spartans responded in the second set by taking an early 6-1 lead on back-to-back kill by Lindborg. UNCG maintained its lead throughout much of the set, but Elon scored four consecutive points to knot the match at 18. The two teams traded points at the end of the set and were still tied at 23-23. A kill by Lysacek gave the Spartans set point and Redden delivered a thundering kill down the line to give UNCG the set, 25-23.
The two squads picked up where they left off before the break as they traded point for much of the early going. Trailing 13-11 midway through the set, UNCG took the next five points to go ahead, 16-13. Elon fought back to tie the set at 21 on a kill by Jessica Barrow, but a kill by Lindborg gave the Spartans set point and a kill by Hanners gave UNCG the set, 25-22.
It almost seemed like déjà vu for the Spartans in the fourth set as Elon jumped out to a commanding 8-1 lead early in the set. The Phoenix extended their lead to 14-7, but UNCG pulled within 14-12 on a kill by Lindborg. A kill by Alissa Beaudway got the Spartans within 17-15, but that was as close as UNCG would get as the Phoenix won eight of the last nine points to win the set, 25-16.
The two seemingly even-matched teams continued to trade points in the fifth and final set as they were tied at seven halfway through the set. UNCG then took control of the set as it won the next three points to take a 10-7 lead on a solo block by Lindborg. Another kill by Lindborg gave the Spartans match-point at 14-9 and an attack error by Elon sealed the victory for the Spartans.
Next up for UNCG is a trip to Spartanburg, S.C. this weekend to take on Wofford in SoCon play. The Spartans and the Terriers will face off on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Ben Johnson Arena.
UNC Greensboro def. Elon: 19-25, 25-23, 25-22, 16-25, 15-9
ELON (15-3, 3-2 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Traci Stewart 12-1-5; Sarah Schermerhorn 11-2-6; Jessica Barrow 11-0-4; Caroline Lemke 7-0-9; Lauren Copenhagen 5-0-1; Allison Johnson 1-0-0; Mandy Wilson 0-0-1; Emily Regan 0-0-3; Ali Deatsch 0-1-0; Totals 47-4-15.0. (Assists) - Emily Regan 37. (Dig leaders) - Ali Deatsch 23; Traci Stewart 18; Lizzie West 10; Lauren Copenhagen 9; Emily Regan 9
UNC Greensboro (10-9, 3-2 SoCon) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Caley Redden 18-1-1; Emily Lindborg 17-0-2; Catherine Hanners 13-1-0; Alissa Beaudway 6-0-1; Billi Baker 4-0-0; Kayren Finney 3-0-2; Luciana Shafer 2-0-0; Ari Lysacek 2-2-1; Kayleigh Knerr 1-0-0; Totals 66-4-6.0. (Assists) - Ari Lysacek 57. (Dig leaders) - Catherine Hanners 29; Kayleigh Knerr 22; Ari Lysacek 12; Caley Redden 10
Site: Greensboro, NC (Fleming Gym)
Date: Oct 07, 2009 Attend: 417 Time: 2:13
Referees: Wade Brence, Charlie Yang
- UNCG -